Employees, including those who earn up to €3,174 of other income and who have this amount coded against their income tax credits, pay their income tax through the PAYE system. Any individual with income, and this can include maintenance income, not taxed through the PAYE system must pay their tax through the self-assessment system. While this does include self-employed individuals it can also include persons in receipt of interest, dividends, rents, etc. A divorced person in receipt of taxable maintenance payments is therefore not classified as a self-employed person but rather as a chargeable person and pays the income tax due on their income through the self-assessment system. This classification is simply the method through which the tax due on the maintenance payments, if any, is collected.
The same rates of income tax apply regardless of whether an individual pays their tax through the PAYE system or the self-assessment system.
To prevent double taxation of income, where a divorced person is liable to pay tax on receipt of a maintenance payment, then the divorced person paying the maintenance payment is entitled to a tax deduction for that maintenance payment.